Airtel today introduced a ‘Mega Saver Pack’ for mobile prepaid user, which according to them is “Airtel’s latest prepaid Innovation” – in this plan, data users will be able to enjoy 1GB of 4G or 3G for just Rs. 51. Prima facie, these plans should bring about a huge smile on Airtel customers, but that’s not the case.
Here is the reason:
Customers will first need to pay upfront charges of Rs. 1498/- and then they can enjoy unlimited number of 1GB 4G/3G recharges @ Rs 51 over the next 12 months. They also have another plan which costs Rs. 748 for the pack and then again customers can enjoy unlimited number of 1GB 4G/3G recharges @ Rs 99 over the next 6 months.
These Plans Are Actually Worst than Existing Ones
From an average mobile data user perspective, these plans work out to be much more costlier than even existing plans – Here is how.
Majority of prepaid users generally use 1GB of mobile data every month – which costs around Rs. 150 (for 3G) to Rs. 200 (for 4G). So, in a year, Airtel customer will pay Rs. 1800 (for 3G) and Rs. 2400 (for 4G).
With this new plan, you will pay Rs. 1500 upfront and then Rs. 50 (rounded off for calculation purposes) every month which comes to
Rs. 1500+ (Rs. 50X12) = Rs. 2100
So, if you are using 3G, you will be paying Rs. 300 more than what you pay every month. If you are on 4G, you may save Rs. 300. But, again you are paying a large amount upfront and so you are already committing that much amount. In most cases, for a saving of Rs. 300, one will think twice before subscribing to this plan.
However, here is the kicker – 3G and 4G mobile data rates are expected to tumble big time after Reliance Jio launches commercially. They are expected to be halved if not more! So, by the end of the year, even if you are using 4G, you will end up saving more money!
Why Did Airtel Launch Such a Plan?
Airtel launched this plan, precisely for the same reason – they want customer to commit themselves to Airtel network for a year or atleast 6 months with this plan. With impending Jio launch, they don’t want customers to port out to Jio due to mobile data benefits they are expected to offer.
Recently, Airtel has also reduced their prepaid mobile data tariffs by nearly 50 percent – All these steps to ensure that customers don’t move away from their network!
Note: In few cases, when a user uses more than 2-3 GB a month, this plan may end up saving you money – but again are you willing to commit for a year?